Photo of Karen MccombKaren Mccomb
Emeritus Professor (Psychology)

Selected publications


Hiestand, Karen M, McComb, Karen and Banerjee, Robin (2022) “It almost makes her human”: how female animal guardians construct experiences of cat and dog empathy. Animals, 12 (23). a3434 1-12. ISSN 2076-2615

Humphrey, Tasmin, Proops, Leanne, Forman, Jemma, Spooner, Rebecca and McComb, Karen (2020) The role of cat eye narrowing movements in cat–human communication. Scientific Reports, 10 (1). a16503 1-8. ISSN 2045-2322

Humphrey, Tasmin, Stringer, Faye, Proops, Leanne and Mccomb, Karen (2020) Slow blink eye closure in shelter cats Is related to quicker adoption. Animals, 10 (12). a2256 1-11. ISSN 2076-2615

Smith, Amy Victoria, Proops, Leanne, Grounds, Kate, Wathan, Jennifer, Scott, Sophie K and McComb, Karen (2018) Domestic horses (Equus caballus) discriminate between negative and positive human nonverbal vocalisations. Scientific Reports, 8 (13502). pp. 1-8. ISSN 2045-2322

Proops, Leanne, Grounds, Kate, Smith, Amy Victoria and McComb, Karen (2018) Animals remember previous facial expressions that specific humans have exhibited. Current Biology, 28 (9). pp. 1428-1432. ISSN 0960-9822

Smith, Amy Victoria, Wilson, Clara, McComb, Karen and Proops, Leanne (2018) Domestic horses (Equus caballus) prefer to approach humans displaying a submissive body posture rather than a dominant body posture. Animal Cognition, 21 (2). pp. 307-312. ISSN 1435-9448

Benson-Amram, Sarah, Gilfillan, Geoff and McComb, Karen (2018) Numerical assessment in the wild: insights from social carnivores. Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences, 373 (1740). ISSN 0962-8436

Gilfillian, Geoffrey D, Vitale, Jessica D T, McNutt, J Weldon and McComb, Karen (2017) Spontaneous discrimination of urine odours in wild African lions (Panthera leo). Animal Behaviour, 126. pp. 177-185. ISSN 0003-3472

Wathan, J, Proops, L, Grounds, K and McComb, K (2016) Horses discriminate between facial expressions of conspecifics. Scientific Reports, 6. p. 38322. ISSN 2045-2322

Gilfillan, Geoffrey, Vitale, Jessica, McNutt, John Weldon and McComb, Karen (2016) Cross-modal individual recognition in wild African lions. Biology Letters, 12 (8). p. 20160323. ISSN 1744-9561

Smith, Amy Victoria, Proops, Leanne, Grounds, Kate, Wathan, Jennifer and McComb, Karen (2016) Functionally relevant responses to human facial expressions of emotion in the domestic horse (Equus caballus). Biology Letters, 12 (2). p. 20150907. ISSN 1744-9561

Wathan, Jennifer Victoria, Burrows, Anne M, Wallet, Bridget M and McComb, Karen (2015) EquiFACS: the Equine Facial Action Coding System. PLoS ONE, 10 (9). e0137818. ISSN 1932-6203

Wathan, Jennifer and McComb, Karen (2014) The eyes and ears are visual indicators of attention in domestic horses. Current Biology, 24 (15). R677-R679. ISSN 0960-9822

Ratcliffe, V F, McComb, K and Reby, D (2014) Cross-modal discrimination of human gender by domestic dogs. Animal Behaviour, 91. pp. 127-135. ISSN 0003-3472

McComb, Karen, Shannon, Graeme, Sayialel, Katito N and Moss, Cynthia (2014) Elephants can determine ethnicity, gender, and age from acoustic cues in human voices. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111 (14). pp. 5433-5438. ISSN 0027-8424

Proops, Leanne, Rayner, Jenny, Taylor, Anna M and McComb, Karen (2013) The responses of young domestic horses (Equus caballus) to human-given cues. PLoS ONE, 8 (6). e67000. ISSN 1932-6203

Shannon, Graeme, Slotow, Rob, Durant, Sarah M, Sayialel, Katito N, Poole, Joyce, Moss, Cynthia and McComb, Karen (2013) Effects of social disruption in elephants persist decades after culling. Frontiers in Zoology, 10 (1). p. 62. ISSN 1742-9994

Proops, Leanne and McComb, Karen (2012) Cross-modal individual recognition in domestic horses (Equus caballus) extends to familiar humans. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279 (1741). pp. 3131-3138. ISSN 0962-8452

McComb, Karen, Shannon, Graeme, Durant, Sarah M, Sayialel, Katito, Slotow, Rob, Poole, Joyce and Moss, Cynthia (2011) Leadership in elephants: the adaptive value of age. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 278 (1722). pp. 3270-3276. ISSN 1471-2954

Taylor, Anna M, Reby, David and McComb, Karen (2010) Why do large dogs sound more aggressive to human listeners: Acoustic bases of motivational misattributions. Ethology, 116 (12). pp. 1155-1162. ISSN 0179-1613

Reby, David, Charlton, Benjamin D, Locatelli, Yann and McComb, Karen (2010) Oestrous red deer hinds prefer male roars with higher fundamental frequencies. Proceedings B: Biological Sciences, 277 (1695). pp. 2747-2753. ISSN 0962-8452

Webster, Hugh, McNutt, John W and McComb, Karen (2010) Eavesdropping and risk assessment between lions, spotted hyenas and African Wild Dogs. Ethology, 116 (3). pp. 233-239. ISSN 0179-1613

McComb, Karen, Taylor, Anna, Wilson, Christian and Charlton, Benjamin D (2009) The cry embedded within the purr. Current Biology, 19 (13). R507-R508. ISSN 0960-9822

Proops, Leanne, McComb, Karen and Reby, David (2009) Cross-modal individual recognition in domestic horses(Equus caballus). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 106 (3). pp. 947-951. ISSN 1091-6490

Charlton, Benjamin D, McComb, Karen and Reby, David (2008) Free-ranging red deer hinds show greater attentiveness to roars with formant frequencies typical of young males. Ethology, 114 (10). pp. 1023-1031. ISSN 0179-1613

Charlton, Benjamin D., Reby, David and McComb, Karen (2008) Effect of combined source (F0) and filter (formant) variation on red deer hind responses to male roars. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 123 (5). pp. 2936-2943. ISSN 0001-4966

Roberts, Samuel G B, McComb, Karen and Ruffman, Ted (2008) An experimental investigation of referential looking in free-ranging barbary macaques (Macaca Sylvanus). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 122 (1). pp. 94-99. ISSN 0735-7036

McComb, Karen (2007) Q&A. Current Biology, 17 (20). R864-866. ISSN 0960-9822

Charlton, Benjamin D, Reby, David and McComb, Karen (2007) Female red deer prefer the roars of larger males. Biology Letters, 3. pp. 382-385. ISSN 1744-9561

McComb, Karen, Baker, Lucy and Moss, Cynthia (2006) African elephants show high levels of interest in the skulls and ivory of their own species. Biology Letters, 2 (1). pp. 26-28. ISSN 1744-9561

McComb, Karen and Semple, Stuart (2005) Co-evolution of vocal communication and sociality in primates. Biology Letters, 1 (4). pp. 381-385. ISSN 1744-9561

Reby, David, McComb, Karen, Cargnelutti, Bruno, Darwin, Chris, Fitch, W Tecumseh and Clutton-Brock, Tim (2005) Red deer stags use formants as assessment cues during intra-sexual agonistic interactions. Proceedings B: Biological Sciences, 272 (1566). pp. 941-947. ISSN 1471-2954

McComb, Karen, Reby, David, Baker, Lucy, Moss, Cynthia and Sayialel, Soila (2003) Long-distance communication of acoustic cues to social identity in African elephants. Animal Behaviour, 65 (2). pp. 317-329. ISSN 0003-3472

Reby, David and McComb, Karen (2003) Vocal communication and reproduction in deer. Advances in the Study of Behavior, 33. 231-264.. ISSN 0065-3454

Semple, Stuart, McComb, Karen, Alberts, Susan and Altmann, Jeanne (2002) Information content of female copulation calls in yellow baboons. American Journal of Primatology, 56. pp. 43-56. ISSN 0275-2565

McComb, Karen, Moss, Cynthia and Durant, Sarah M (2001) Elephant hunting and conservation. Science, 293. pp. 2203-2204. ISSN 0036-8075

Grinnell, Jon and McComb, Karen (2001) Roaring and social communication in African lions: the limitations imposed by listeners. Animal Behaviour, 62. pp. 93-98. ISSN 0003-3472

McComb, Karen, Moss, Cynthia, Durant, Sarah M, Baker, Lucy and Sayialel, Soila (2001) Matriarchs act as repositories of social knowledge in African elephants. Science, 292. pp. 491-494. ISSN 0036-8075

Semple, S and McComb, K (2000) Perception of female reproductive state from vocal cues in a mammal species. Proceedings B: Biological Sciences, 267 (1444). pp. 707-712. ISSN 1471-2954

McComb, Karen, Moss, Cynthia, Sayialel, Soila and Baker, Lucy (2000) Unusually extensive networks of vocal recognition in African Elephants. Animal Behaviour, 59 (6). pp. 1103-1109. ISSN 00033472

Book Section

Semple, S and McComb, Karen (2006) The function of female copulation calls in the genus Macaca: insights from the Barbary macaque. In: The Barbary macaque: biology, management and conservation (J.K. Hodges and J. Cortes, eds). Nottingham University Press, 81-93.. ISBN 1904761313

McComb, Karen and Reby, David (2005) Vocal communication networks in large terrestrial mammals. In: McGregor, P K (ed.) Animal communication networks. Cambridge University Press, pp. 372-389. ISBN 9780521823616